TFA's in the Spotlight: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Hullo Everyone! Today I've got the fantastic opportunity to interview the brilliant Kasie West! She's the author of Pivot Point [released this past February] and the upcoming summer read, The Distance Between Us!
Kasie is that YA-writing author obsessed with Junior Mints. Sometimes she goes crazy and does both at the same time. Her debut novel, PIVOT POINT (HarperTeen) came out February 12, 2013, and will be followed by its sequel in 2014. Her upcoming contemporary, The Distance Between Us, comes out July 2, 2013 with HarperTeen. Her agent is the talented and funny Michelle Wolfson.
Find her Awesome: Website -- Twitter -- Facebook

HAWKEYE: Let's get this show on the road. Suppose I've never heard of The Distance Between Us. Now pitch me your book, in 13 words[or less]

KASIEPride and Prejudice meets Pretty in Pink in this romantic comedy.

HAWKEYE: According to your bio, you love Jr. Mints. Have those little delicacies found their way into any of your books?

KASIE: Ha. I do love Jr. Mints. So much so that I don't share them with any of my kids, including my character kids. :) No, just kidding. I do share them with my kids. But, I think I always fear giving my characters traits that I possess very strongly (like my love of jr. mints) because I don't want anyone to then assume that my MC is super similar to me. If that makes sense.

HAWKEYE: Having your debut novel under your belt, what are you most worried/excited for with the release of TDBU?

KASIE: What don't I worry about? I guess the main one is expectations. I was worried about that the first time around, too, but even more so now. I'm afraid of disappointing people. I adore The Distance Between Us, but I fear it will be compared to Pivot Point and people will like it more and/or less.

HAWKEYE: TDBU has a lovely eye-catching cover. Your thoughts?

KASIEI love the cover so much. I love the colors and the setting. When I saw this cover, I melted. It's perfect.

HAWKEYE: Which of your characters would be the most likely one found among YAvenger ranks? Why?

KASIE: In this book? Probably Skye. I mean, with a name like Skye, how can you *not* be a super hero? She's quirky and fun and sure of herself and I imagine she's probably hiding some sort of super secret identity. 

HAWKEYE: The world is ending, sour gummy worms or chocolate malt balls?

KASIE: Chocolate. Always chocolate.

HAWKEYE: *gasp* Caymen's heart has led her to fall in love with a guy who is NOT in her book. Which fictional boy stole her heart?

KASIE: Oh goodness. That is scandalous indeed. Well, it would have to Perry from Under The Never Sky. Mainly because I love him.

HAWKEYEThe premise of TDBU settles around a sweet Pride & Predjudice kind of romance. What is the most important quality in a strong romance to you?

KASIE: I love humor. It's why I fell in love with my husband (he is the funniest man I know) and I always try to bring at least a little of it into all my romances. 

HAWKEYE: Panem is real and Xander has been chosen as a tribute in the Hunger Games. What district is he from? 

KASIE: Xander is definitely from the Capitol (no district for him). I mean, the boy is rich rich rich. 

HAWKEYEThe world is dying to know; are you a Planner of a Pantser?

KASIE: Pantser for sure. But that means my edits are bears. My first drafts usually become my "outlines". I'm a fast writer and that first draft is very skeletal. So the next several hundred read throughs are for fleshing it out. 

HAWKEYEIf there is one thing you know now, that you wish you had known before your debut was published, what would it be?

KASIEStay away from reviews. :) They can rip your soul out and keep you from writing if they're bad. Or make you think you can never write another book as good as the one you just wrote if they're good. It's a double edged sword. Best to just avoid them and concentrate on writing and enjoying getting to know readers.  

HAWKEYEWhat's the most important thing you want teen readers to take away from TDBU when they read it this summer?

KASIETo not judge too quickly. It's easy to look at someone and assume you know them or to immediately put a label on them, but getting to know someone is the only way to truly see who they are.

HAWKEYE:  Having dipped your toe into the supernatural and contemporary, what genres do you plan to explore next, if any new ones?

KASIEI think I found the two I enjoy working in the best. For now, I plan to play around in both of them as much as possible. 

Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she's beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.
Now. All you readers, it's time for you to answer a question. How excited are YOU for this book? You've heard from the brilly author, you've read the synopsis, and seen the cover. Time to vote in the poll! As for me, well I could shoot my eye out.

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